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Mazda MX-5 Gets Jaguar V6 Engine, Becomes a Speed Demon

Unlike the Honda Civic, there’s a reason the Mazda MX-5 will never feature on the sh*tbox leaderboard. It does exactly what it was made for. The MX-5 is perhaps one of the most driver-focused car in the industry, and the awards speak for themselves.
Jaguar V6-Swapped MK II Mazda MX-5 review 9 photos
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But what happens when you swap-out out its meager 1.8-liter engine for a Jaguar V6? Well, for starters, purists will spit-take at the site of what’s under the hood. Secondly, it’ll cease being a driver-focused roadster.

Jack of Number 27 YouTube channel got the chance to drive an MK II Mazda MX-5 that’s more of a speed demon than a laid-back mountain pass roadster.

Two months ago, James Pumphrey of Donut media did a YouTube special titled, Car YouTubers are Getting Out of Hand. He did a follow-up ten days ago, Car YouTubers are Getting MORE Out of Hand, and he might be right. Some car tuners are more obsessed with form over function, which to some extent is, quite frankly, absurd.

Jack’s Jaguar V6-swapped MX-5 isn’t the craziest of ideas on the internet, but it’s enough to start a civil war among purists.

Mark, the owner, admits the conversion was indeed a bit of a mad decision, but he wanted to add a little bit of power to the fantastic handling roadster.

I have always thought they’re really pretty cars. And if you’ve ever driven one, you’ll know they handle fantastically. So I decided that it needed a bigger motor,” he explained.

Mark took his Mazda MX-5 to Rocketeer, and they put in a Jaguar  3-liter V6 engine from an S-Type. He also swapped out the 6-speed manual transmission for a 5-speed, and according to his experience, his MX-5 is now “pretty engaging and quite performant.”

Rocketeer has been converting MX-5s into what they call the MXV6 for more than five years. They base their argument on balance.

Naturally, an MX-5 feels like it needs more power, just like most people think the Toyota GR86 needs a turbocharger. And instead of slamming a V8 engine under the hood, they choose the sweet spot, a  3-liter V6. It’s an arguable methodology, but Rocketeer is still sailing on five years later, with a conversion kit that’s half the price of a neat-running MX-5 MK II (about £10,000).

On the other hand, Jack feels Mark should have done the conversion on the cooler-looking MK I MX-5 instead of the MK II.

But I understand why he did it, really. I mean, if you’re going to go to that extent that he’s gone to, the last thing you want is a really rusty dumpy shell to be investing that kind of money on,” he said.

While it’s easy to think the Jaguar V6 engine adds a lot of weight to the MX-5, Jack says the all-aluminum Jaguar stroker is lighter than the stock 1.8-liter iron block engine. He also believes it’s more compact in terms of length, since the engineers at Rocketeer were able to get it to fit a little bit further back compared to the original.

Do you think the MX-5 MK II is better off with a Jaguar V6 engine? It probably is, but we’ll let you follow the conversation about the handling and performance in the video below.

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